How does the veteran minimum salary work in the NBA?

San Antonio Spurs v Milwaukee Bucks
San Antonio Spurs v Milwaukee Bucks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

With the 2023 NBA Draft and Las Vegas Summer League in the rearview mirror, basketball fans must endure the dead period of the offseason. Breaking news is scarce, and nearly every household name is off the free agent market, which means players, coaches, and team staff can kick back for a couple of months for some well-deserved relaxation before gearing up for another grueling regular season.

Several franchises still have housekeeping duties to address, but most of the moves we will see from here on out will probably have to do with fringe roster players signing minimum contracts. Though we hear that term tossed around every summer, what does it mean? If you're one of the people who have no idea how these deals work, then stick with us because we have your back with a brief explanation.

The NBA has a corporate structure that is similar to almost any place of business. It has measures to guarantee its employees are compensated in accordance with their seniority, and that is exactly how minimum contracts work. The base rate for a player rises as they spend more time in the NBA. Below is a chart that shows how much these deals are worth this season based on total years of experience.

2023-24 Minimum Contract by Years of Experience 

0 Years of Experience: $1,119,563
1 Years of Experience: $1,801,769
2 Years of Experience: $2,019,706
3 Years of Experience: $2,092,354
4 Years of Experience: $2,165,000
5 Years of Experience: $2,346,614
6 Years of Experience: $2,528,233
7 Years of Experience: $2,709,849
8 Years of Experience: $2,891,467
9 Years of Experience: $2,905,861
10+ Years of Experience: $3,196,448

The San Antonio Spurs had a surplus of salary cap space entering the offseason, so they were not at all worried about pinching pennies to fill out their roster. The only player the front office has signed to a minimum contract this summer is Sandro Mamukelashvili. The 6-foot-11 center has two seasons of league experience, so he will earn about $2,019,706 from his one-year deal with the Silver and Black.


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